Magazine article Mortgage Banking

The Power of One

Magazine article Mortgage Banking

The Power of One

Article excerpt

LOS ANGELES-BASED KB HOME, A NATIONAL HOME BUILDER, NOW HAS Richard Powers as one of its top executives for its Home Mortgage Co. division. Powers most recently was president of Richmond, Virginia-based Charter One Mortgage Corporation before making the move to become the new president of KB Home Mortgage, a company that takes pride in an integrated, one-stop home-buying experience.

We asked Powers how KB Home can take advantage of being a home builder with its own mortgage company. "Customers appreciate having one company that will be there for them throughout the entire home-buying process, from beginning to end," says Powers. One of the initiatives Powers will launch during his tenure at KB Home Mortgage is putting more mortgage specialists in the field, where they are closer to the homebuyers.

"This goes against the trend in recent years toward phone and Internet service that most lenders provide, but we think that the increased focus on face-to-face, personalized service will make all the difference with our homebuyers as they look at their lending choices. I'm very excited about this new initiative and confident that we will see immediate results not only in the bottom line, but in the sense of satisfaction that our loan counselors have in working directly with our customers," says Powers.

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Powers plans on not only increasing customer service, but also providing superior mortgage products. He plans to stay focused on what matters to today's customers: a product to fit their individual lifestyle needs. In fact, KB Home Mortgage has more than doubled its product offerings. "KB Home Mortgage Co. now offers 86 fixed- and adjustable-rate products, compared to 38 just five years ago. This kind of flexibility helps keep homes within reach of the average buyer," explains Powers.

In addition to offering more mortgage products, Powers plans on working closely with KB Home Mortgage's parent company during the lending process. Homebuyers can roll the costs of custom amenities options from KB's Home Studio into their home mortgage. "Every $1,000 of options adds only an extra $6 per month to the mortgage. So, $20,000 in options is only an extra $120 per month. That means that KB homebuyers can build the home of their dreams just the way they want it from the day they move in, rather than buying a resale fixer-upper and financing through high-rate credit cards." Thus, the key for Powers is to keep customers happy by providing everything they need when both building and financing a house.

Mortgage Banking asked Powers why he made the move to KB Home Mortgage at this point in his career. "Charter One was a great experience for me, but when KB Home approached me about running their mortgage operation, I felt it was an opportunity I couldn't pass up. …

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